The short answer is YES! At least, that was the case for me when I retook the Myers-Briggs personality test after 3-4 years. If you’re as into personal development and expanding into the most authentic expression of yourself as I am, you’ll probably get different results, too.
Because the Myers-Briggs personality test is subjective, — based on how you feel when you respond to the questions — it makes sense to get different results at various points in time.
My inspiration to retake this test occurred a few days ago, when I was killing time at an airport with an introductory video on human design. Unlike the Myers-Briggs test, human design is objective and unchanging. While I don’t know much about human design yet, I’m intrigued to learn more!
What is the Myers-Briggs personality test?
I’m not going to go too deep into this because there’s tons of information available on the internet. Anyway, you’ve probably already heard of the 16 personality types. If not, maybe you’ve heard people describe themselves with a set of letters like INFJ — which happens to be my Myers-Briggs type.
Basically, the Myers-Briggs personality test measures where you fall on a spectrum of four scales:
- Introversion – Extraversion
- Sensing – Intuition
- Thinking – Feeling
- Judging – Perceiving
Instead of writing an explanation for each of these, I’m going to drop a link where you can take a free version of the test: 16Personalities
I encourage you to take this quick test and find out your personality type. Feel free to share in the comments and let me know your thoughts on the test’s results.
My Myers-Briggs personality type
I’m an INFJ-A, aka the Advocate. The last time I took this personality test, I was an INFP-T Investigator.
It shows how this is a good one to take at various points in your life to see how you change. I certainly feel like a different person now than I was then, except for the parts about being introverted, intuitive, and emotional.
But when I first saw my results, I was a bit thrown off by this new advocate type. I thought for sure I was still an investigator.
So, I took the test again.
I didn’t bother taking it a third time because that would only complicate things if I got a different type.
Then, I started comparing Investigators and Advocates on Personality Central. My eye flew right to the careers section because that’s my focus right now.
Interestingly, the Investigator makes a great journalist, a former career of mine, while the advocate excels as an author, which is my current goal. The advocate also does well as a counselor, career consultant, artist, and teacher. I draw on all of these when I write my intuitive tarot readings for introverts.
Then, I started thinking of the word advocate. I certainly consider myself an advocate and make an effort to use my voice in a way that benefits marginalized groups. My recent essay on my decision not to have children is one example of this.
What does it mean to be an Advocate (INFJ)?
According to 16Personalities, Advocates are the rarest personality type. I’m not surprised. I don’t know too many people like me, and I kind of like it that way. Though this makes me wonder — what is the most common personality type?
If you take this test and find you have it, please let me know!
Personality central uses the label Healer-Counselor instead of Advocate for the INFJ type. Though I can relate to the advocate role, this one rings more true for me.
Well-known Advocates include:
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Nelson Mandela
- Marie Kondo
- Lady Gaga
- Morgan Freeman
- Carl Jung
And some of my favorite fictional characters like Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird, and Aragorn and Lady Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings.
If you take anything from this post, let it be this: I am a beautiful and magical elf queen.
Advocate career paths
According to 16Personalities, Advocates often feel called to use their strengths – such as creativity, imagination, and sensitivity – to uplift others and spread compassion.
Around this time last year, I struggled with what I wanted to do with my life. I knew my career as a copywriter was coming to an end because I was bored and burnt out with it. I considered becoming a lawyer — like Atticus Finch — but wanted more creative freedom. Additionally, 1-1 coaching was something I wanted to try, so I created my own career.
Other common career paths for the INFJ personality type include artists, holistic health care providers, writers, advisors, and counselors.
I totally resonate with this quote, probably because Goethe was also an Advocate.
According to Personality Central, all the NF types (INFJ, INFP, ENFP, and ENFJ) are Healers. The other groups are Wizards, Explorers, and Knights. I’m most drawn to Healer out of all those types, anyway. Although I have to say, Wizard sounds nice.
Advocates in relationships
Rather than rely on superficial interactions with the people they see every day at work or school, [Advocates] generally prefer to have a close circle of confidants.16Personalities
Yes! I couldn’t have said it better.
I’ve never had a huge group of friends. Insteead, I have a handful of close friends who know everything, including my deepest fears and loftiest goals. These relationships are solid, have stood the test of time, and continue to grow stronger with every crisis we bear together.
I also refuse to tolerate flakiness. When it comes to friendships, I’ve always loved the lyric by old-school New Jersey punk band, The Measure, “I expect the best of all my friends, you gotta work to be one.”
My friends are more than just people to talk to and have a good time with. They push me to grow, learn, and show up as my best self. I expect no more and no less from them. It’s not an easy role to fill.
How my Myers-Briggs personality type has changed
The two factors I moved on, Tactics and Identity, are also the ones with the narrowest margins. I landed pretty close to the middle on both.
After thinking about it and retaking the test, I realized my shift from Prospecting (Perceiving) to Judging on the Tactics measure likely came from the structure I’ve imposed on myself. As I learned more about what it takes for me to succeed, I’ve embraced structure, routine, and task lists.
The last time I took this test, I’d just set out on a career path as a full-time freelance writer. Before that, I was a local news reporter who occasionally sold an article to a larger publication like Outside. I worked when I felt like it and always had nanny jobs and side-gigs to make ends meet.
To get to where I am now, I had to implement an organizational strategy. It took some trial-and-error, but I got to a point where I could set a goal for myself, chunk it down into tasks, and get it done. While I don’t love this, it’s helpful, and I’ve noticed a tremendous improvement in my work-life balance.
The move from Turbulent to Assertive represents a boost in confidence. I’ll chalk that up to increasing age and experience. Since first taking this test, I’ve put myself in countless challenging situations and come out the other side.
So, yeah, I feel more sure of my abilities, but only about 58% sure.
Criticism for the Myers-Briggs personality test
Various articles all over the internet are skeptical of the Myers-Briggs test, some claiming it’s a waste of time. While I disagree with this extreme stance, I can see how categorizing people based on a subjective questionnaire could raise doubt.
Even Carl Jung — the psychologist whose theories this test is based on — wrote “Every individual is an exception to the rule.”
I consider Myers-Briggs to be in the same boat as the Enneagram and even tarot and astrology. If you’re curious, it’s worth looking into.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to learn about archetypes that reflect your individual experience. I find comfort in knowing certain things I consider quirks about myself are actually common.
However, as with tarot and astrology, I say take what resonates with you and leave the rest.
These categories are based on where you fall on a spectrum. If you’re like me, you might not be at the extreme end of any personality type indicator. And even if you are all the way at one end, this can change over time, or even from one day to the next!
So, in conclusion, I wouldn’t put too much faith in Myers-Briggs or any other personality test. But I do find it interesting!
What are your thoughts? Do you know your personality type? If so, how has it affected your career or relationships?
1 thought on “Do Myers-Briggs Personality Test Results Change with Life Experience?”
I don’t actually recall what my type was the last time I took a test. I’m quite strongly introverted, and have gotten more so over time. There were a couple of the traits I remember being near the middle on (I think S/N and T/F), and I could easily have gotten a different type with just a few different answers.